ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - JESSICA MERCEDES
As we gear up for our fourth installment of the ORF Summer Intensive in the Dominican Republic, we thought it would be nice to catch up with some of our former students.
After the success of SI 2006, Jessica Mercedes signed up for the next installment of the course in June of 2007. “When I heard that the ORGFF was going to deliver the second version of the Summer Intensive,” she says, “I rushed over to my mother and said, I’ve got to be in this, and till this day I don’t regret it.”
Jessica had always known she wanted to work in production, specifically as a writer or producer. The One Race Global Film Foundation gave Jessica and nineteen other students the opportunity to learn the craft of filmmaking first hand.
In SI 2007, Jessica created a commercial for Joe Boxer, starred in a TV show on pop culture and a trend, wrote and directed the short Eso Pasa, and was selected as a writer for the final project Dominican Fu.
“We got the chance to work hands on in the productions, something that in DR is almost impossible to do at school. The first day, your group is given a camera, and in less than an hour, you are recording an interview and getting feedback on how to proceed with your next project.”
Jessica considers the demanding structure of the ORF Summer Intensive to be one of the most rewarding parts of the course. “You find yourself learning more in just one month than the four years spent at college, I must say that is just amazing.” Jessica was able to work as a producer on Dominican Fu, as well as crew on her production crew’s individual projects. “You do everything from producing to editing, and you work with people that understand your passion and interests. It’s an experience that everybody should have.”
Jessica spent a year developing video projects for the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development/Fundacion Global Democracia y Desarollo, and was the Technical Coordinator for SI 2008. Jessica has used the tools she learned in the ORF Summer Intensive to gain experience in the advertising world, writing, producing and directing TV commercials.